Oceansize
Effloresce


4.5
superb

Review

by Tyler Fisher EMERITUS
April 21st, 2007 | 106 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Effloresce combines post-rock, prog, and electronica by blending it through hard rock aesthetics.

For a while, I found Effloresce a cool album but impossible to listen to for a long period of time. The complex time signatures and longer song lengths boggled my mind; I found the album passing me by. I had no recollection of what happened. Over the past 9 months or so, I am not sure whether I underwent a musical evolution or simply matured in my taste, but I finally understand Effloresce. Maybe I just noticed the qualities of different tracks because my iPod mixed up the order of the songs and I heard some of the later songs first. Over time, Oceansize’s Effloresce has become one of my favorite albums of the time. Not a classic, but absolutely fantastic and original.

Oceansize’s name explains their sound well. Effloresce is a massive 75 minute album full of intricate melody, complex time signatures, and accessible rock aesthetics. A quintet with three able guitar players, two keyboardists, a bassist, a drummer, and a volatile vocalist who goes from whispers to screams, songs on the album range from instrumental progressive epics to complex time-signature frenzies to electronic experiments. Whether they use intricate keyboard and clean guitar melodies or pounding, distorted chords, Effloresce is excellent. The beginning of the album presents most of the band’s tendencies, a sort of sampler of the songs to come. I Am the Morning brings keyboards and major keyed guitar melodies to the forefront, an entirely instrumental track. Oceansize uses the crescendo to a climax technique of typical post-rock, but their sound diverges from the typical post-rock fare. Instead of simple guitar melodies that expand into huge, EQ-busting chords, they simply add countermelodies and chords underneath the main melodic theme. I Am the Morning is so well-done that one might assume that Effloresce is an instrumental album.

However, Catalyst enters and presents the other side of Oceansize-complex modern rock. Grooving in 7/4 time, the song explodes into even more intricate melodies and brings the first appearance of vocals on the album. Mike Vennart’s voice sounds like an angry Daniel Johns from Silverchair’s grunge days mixed with the calm of Dustin Kensrue. Although the song follows a typical format of quiet verse-heavy chorus-quiet verse, each verse and chorus presents something different in the music. The second verse shows the monotonous harmonies the band likes to use, used to their fullest extent on One Day All This Could Be Yours. As Catalyst progresses, the time signatures change constantly, but the music never becomes awkward. It moves with a steady groove that never falters, which makes Oceansize extremely accessible in songs like Catalyst. On the outside, it simply sounds like a well-executed rock song, but underneath, Catalyst provides plenty of new things to discover.

In the middle of the album, Effloresce becomes its most complex. After the calm, laid back Rinsed, You Wish begins a duo of the most involved songs on the album. Although dense and complicated, these two songs are subtle and difficult to decipher on first listen. This is the section of the album that grows on the listener. You Wish grows excellently in dynamics, ending in a blend of heavy chords and squealing harmonics. Remember Where You Are, on the other hand, stays quieter and subdued for most of the track. It also has a tribal feel to it, especially with the drummer using a tom ostinato to begin the song. It ends on a standard 4/4 vamp, which begins the album’s less complex ending. Each song from then on sits in one time signature, making better use of melody than the rest of the album. Amputee is the most accessible song on the album, highlighting Vennart’s versatile voice. The last three tracks are all longer, epic tracks heavily rooted in post-rock. Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs makes use of guitar effects and textural chords. The song sounds much like a less energetic Tristeza song. Long Forgotten adds a string section to the mix and makes for the most beautiful song on the album.

Effloresce, meaning to burst forth like a flower, finds a band coming into their own and producing an album of superb standards. An impossibly well-done debut album, Oceansize set the bar high for themselves further in their career. From the eclectic first third of the album to the progressive, complex middle to the beautiful, subtle album ending, Oceansize presents a world of music drawing from post-rock, progressive, grunge, and even electronica. With open minds and virtuoso talent, their possibilities are unlimited.

Recommended Tracks:
Catalyst
You Wish
Amputee
Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs
Long Forgotten



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Comments:Add a Comment 
FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
April 21st 2007


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Rewrite.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
April 21st 2007


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll read this later but I wrote a terrible review for this way back when on the old site. I LOL'ed when I saw it saved on word. It kind of grew off of me after a while. I'd give it a 3.5/4

Kage
May 15th 2007


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I totally dig the rewrite, now you describe my feelings about this album precisely. Very well done.

Doppelganger
May 31st 2007


3124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh god this album is monstrous.

Collis
July 5th 2007


453 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oooh I looooove it. Seeing them live in a couple o' weeks.

astrel
July 5th 2007


2614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Jesus this album rocks.

duckies
October 25th 2007


143 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I just got this album. It sounds very good so far :thumb:

Mendigo
January 25th 2008


2299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've seldom agreed more with a review.
maybe to point some songs out: I am the Morning is one of the best openers i can imagine and One day all this could be yours is wonderful (and I always wonder what effect this song would have when played in a huge club ^^) but my favourite is Long Forgotten. Actually the whole ending with the last three songs is simply incredible.
one of the best debuts I've ever heard - better even than Led Zeppelin I ^^

Wizard
May 6th 2008


19607 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow, really liked this review alot. The album took me a while to get into as well, I must agree. One of my favourites of all time.

Digging: Full Of Hell & Merzbow - Full Of Hell & Merzbow

PartinsShot
November 21st 2008


138 Comments


i cant even begin to describe how good this is

PartinsShot
November 21st 2008


138 Comments


( the album )

Mendigo
November 21st 2008


2299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you don't have to, the review does a good job at it anyway.
over time Long Forgotten has become my favorite, one of the greatest closing songs of all time, I believe - at times it reminds me somehow of King Crimson's everlasting Starless

DoctorNurse
December 9th 2008


475 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Instrumentation on this album is great, but the lyrics always made me cringe. Not listened to it in like 2 years but i still remember:

"What a way to go we're still running for a bus that we missed years ago"

Don't know why but that always bothered me. Catalyst is brilliant though.

Mendigo
December 9th 2008


2299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good that my English isn't good enough to grasp the lyrics ;)

DoctorNurse
December 9th 2008


475 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Its not even that bad a lyric, but it's just one of those moments that completely grates every time i hear it.

Abdar112
March 9th 2009


392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album took me the longest to completely grow on me, (longer than Everyone Into Position and Frames), but I'd have to say it is their best effort, but not by much, cause all 3 of their albums are amazing in different ways

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
June 6th 2009


7026 Comments


This is so amazing

lauriej
June 6th 2009


1712 Comments


need need need need

oh and lol at the album art, needs fixing

ShadowMic7
June 11th 2009


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is an album that you have to let grow on you. It definately pushed me into a whole new place from a writing and musical standpoint. Absolute favorite...

PuddleSwimmer
June 11th 2009


1457 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Btw, how do you edit album's cover art on this site? Some are missing them altogether and I can't figure out how to add...



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